UN agency arranged secret meet between US and ex-Tigers – GoSL
Posted on February 7th, 2014

Top American official forcibly enters army camp near Boossa detention facility

by Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy Island

Commenting on the allegations made by the government, a senior spokesperson for the Office of UN Resident Coordinator told The Island: “On the basis of information the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office received from IOM, the Office understands that IOM was requested to provide information on a meeting between stakeholders (rehabilitated ex-combatants) of a recently completed project with representatives of the concerned project donor. It’s normal practice for donors to interact with project stakeholders/beneficiaries with the purpose of understanding the results that the project has achieved. IOM has informed UN Resident Coordinator’s Office that it has provided the requested information on the event and are available for any further clarification, as needed”

The government has accused the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of violating its mandate by arranging a secret meeting between a group of ex-LTTE terrorists and a top level US delegation led by Ambassador-at-Large Stephen J. Rapp, the head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice, during the second week of January.

Ambassador J. Rapp

The meeting has taken place at the IOM office in Kilinochchi. The US delegation included US Ambassador in Colombo Michele Sison.

Authoritative government sources told The Island that the meeting had been arranged by the IOM in consultation with the Office of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka, Subinay Nandy.

The meeting should also be examined against the backdrop of the US offer of rewards of up to USD 5 million to those who could provide information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country, or the transfer to or conviction by any international criminal tribunal, of any foreign national accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide, sources said.

The IOM comes under the purview of Nandy in his capacity as UNDP Resident Representative.

Asked whether the US delegation had an opportunity to meet ex-child combatants under the auspices of the UN, a US embassy spokesperson  said the US wouldn’t discuss the particulars of those who had met the delegation. The spokesperson didn’t respond to the query whether the US embassy had secured UN approval to meet ex-terrorists.

Government sources said that soon after the secret meeting had come to light, the Defence Ministry took up the issue with the IOM mission which accused its Kilinochchi office of arranging the meeting without informing Colombo. Sources emphasised that the local office wouldn’t have facilitated such a meeting without the blessings of higher authorities.

Subsequently, Nandy spoke to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa regarding the IOM abusing its mandate. Defence Secretary Rajapaksa has insisted that action be taken against the IOM for its high handed action.

The US delegation questioned ex-LTTE personnel on the last phase of the Vanni East battles. The army crushed the last LTTE resistance on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon on the morning of May 19, 2009.

Army headquarters told The Island that thousands of LTTE cadres including those attached to elite fighting units had benefited through Information, Counseling and Referral Services (ICRS) carried out by the IOM. Those who had been invited to be interviewed by the US delegation were among the beneficiaries of the IOM project, sources said, adding that the US would now try to exploit whatever information elicited from them to justify the proposed US-led resolution.

Having moved two successful resolutions in 2012 and 2013, the US has declared its intention to move another, late next month at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Asked whether the government had been aware of the IOM having access to LTTE cadres after the conclusion of the conflict, a senior military official said that the IOM had set up its project in Sri Lanka in 2002. “The original project went failed the resumption of hostilities by the LTTE. However, the IOM launched a fresh project to help ex-LTTE combatants even before the conclusion of the conflict. Those who had been rehabilitated received access to the IOM before their release. It was a unique project. Unfortunately, the new IOM leadership seems to be working overtime to undermine Sri Lanka.”

Government sources alleged that the US delegation led by Ambassador Rapp had also forced its way into an army detachment adjoining the Boossa detention facility. The visiting US official had wanted to know whether the detachment was responsible for security at the detention centre, sources said, adding that the GoSL couldn’t comprehend the US attitude. The army detachment had been there for many years, they said.

5 Responses to “UN agency arranged secret meet between US and ex-Tigers – GoSL”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Since the IOM is a UN organization then the powers they enjoy should be severely restricted in Sri Lanka. They too must submit ahead of time a written request of any action they intend to take in Sri Lanka for approval. If not approved they should be stopped. If approved they should be escorted by the Secret Service of Sri Lanka. If they break the law their powers should be stripped and face the courts of Sri Lanka.

    The UN is an organization created by western powers to represent and advance western powers. The UN is a liability to those nations who were not involved in its formation and should be treated as such.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Our bloody govt. is more UNGRATEFUL than Tamils.

    In 2011 China battled ON OUR BEHALF to save us. What did the GOSL do? Went to bed with disgusting ENDIA and sidelined China!

    Now we are BEGGING China again.

    At least this time, get China in and push Endia OUT.

    “External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris will visit China from February10 to 13 as a special envoy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to garner the much needed Chinese support.

    During the three-day visit on the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yee, the minister will meet Chinese Deputy President Li Yuanchao, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Li Baodong the Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of UN and HR Affairs.

    External Affairs Ministry sources said the US sponsored resolution that is likely to be presented at the March UNHRC sessions will be a main feature at the discussions and Sri Lanka would expect Chinese support to face the resolution.

    This year China became a member of the UNHRC. At the previous sessions when the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka was submitted, China had actively campaigned among member states with Chinese influence to defeat the motion.

    Last month during an email interview with Daily Mirror Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao said China will ‘unswervingly’ speak for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions.

    The Ambassador said China recognised the progress achieved by the Sri Lankan Government and its people in economic and social development after the ‘internal conflict’ ended.

    Reiterating that China and Sri Lanka are true friends, he said a friend in need is a friend indeed. “We believe that Sri Lanka should be given more time and space to solve its problems by itself. In the days to come, we will continue to unswervingly speak for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC to uphold justice,” he said.”

    – dailymirror.lk

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    GLP is visiting China at a VERY CRUCIAL time.

    China held its FIRST EVER military drills in the Endian Ocean 2 days ago.

    Endia-Indonesia and Australia held a separate drill just a day ago.

    Things are hotting up between the 2 countries.

    SL has to GET RID of Endia now. We cannot play this DOUBLE GAME forever. I hope China DEMANDS SL to get rid of TOO MANY Endian interference in the country for it to support SL at UNHRC. Otherwise our fools will never do it.

  4. Nanda Says:

    I think our “Fools”(not really) have been bribed very heavily by Endia.

  5. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    There is a way to get Washington’s attention and that is to ally with Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Not to spite the US but for genuine commercial and political reasons. South America, Central America and the Caribbean nations are still under utilized by the rest of the world. Even though Brazil belongs to the “BRIC” nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) South America is a vast potential market for Sri Lanka’s export market and her telecommunications sector to just name two.

    Venezuela with the aid of China is in the process of developing an alternative channel to the Panama canal, to meet the rapid growth of trans continental naval shipments. On a side note. The Panama canal built by the US was handed over to Panama and the US lost her power by that. The US “Monroe Doctrine” has been shredded by Cuba who now courts both Russia and China. Sri Lanka being a nation of ports has a great deal to achieve in canal technology to other oceanographic issues. Brazil’s hydroelectric power is barely developed. Brazil has waterfalls far larger than the Niagara water fall of the US/Canada border and recently she discovered a massive reserve of gas and oil at the Amazon rive basin.

    Why show so much interest in Cuba, oil rich Venezuela or Nicaragua outside the commercial reasons? they all hate the US and there is no love lost between Washington D.C. and these nations. By commerce and diplomacy make them Sri Lanka’s ally’s and build Sri Lanka’s presence in these regions or in the very underbelly of the US and Sri Lanka will have a diplomatic sword and shield against the toothless Tiger called Washington D. C.

    In one article Brazil is now training Sri Lankan troops and Sri Lanka is reciprocating. That makes my comment all the more important that Sri Lanka develop strong relations in the New world outside of the US and Canada where the Tamil diaspora are non existent.

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